Last week my dad and I went to the shop. They were closing down and the walls were bare. We would walk down isles and only a single shelf would be sitting there, stocked with a couple of items, waiting to be taken down.
When we check out, I ask the checkout lady "Why are you closing down."
She replies with a shrug, "Not enough business, our rent's too high, the economy's bad."
take your pick kid
I look away, suddenly finding the drab, grey, speckled floor seemingly interesting. You never could tell if they were clean.
And for a moment it's silent and then the noise was overwhelming. I look up.
why do you care? she asks, outraged, i am the one loosing my job, not you.
I stay silent. She goes on.
i have two little girls back home and a dead beat ex-husband who wont pay child support, they sit at home, barely clothed, barely fed and all the while i work and work and work so they can go to school, so they can get a chance in life.
I don't know where she's going with this, I don't care. Her voice is so loud, so much yelling, so much noise.
i do all of this, all of it for them. but now? now they will have Nothing. why? because there's not enough business, because our rent's too high, because the economy's bad.
When I realize she has stopped yelling, I look her in the eyes.
I move on, her eyes are ugly.
I study the little crows feet around her eyes instead, they remind me of cracks made in stone. I find it intriguing, how something as strong as rock can be crushed so easily as result from something so simple, so docile as frozen water.
The brush of my fathers hand tells me to move, he needs to pay.
"Will that be cash or credit?"
I answer for him, "cash."
He never uses credit cards when I'm with him. "Daddy, don't be silly, we can't use those, they leave electronic trails. Anyone could be watching!"
She gives me a smile, handing my father the receipt.
"Have a nice day!"
what do you know? she sneers you are just a child